Some time ago I wrote on the topics of thalassemia and heart attacks, to which I received many positive reactions and requests for more information. Since then my friend, Dr Abdul Rashid Seyal, has sent me some more important details on the treatment of thalassemia, which I would like to share with my readers here, together with a letter from Dr Amer Maqbool Ahmed from Oslo. There is also some further information on heart attacks sent to me by Dr Rushd Jibran, Interventional Cardiologist, Hull, UK.
Dr Seyal writes: “The herbal plant fegonia critica is a small, thorny bush that usually grows in the desert. It is the favourite food of camels. It is known as ‘datmasa’ or ‘datman’ and locals also call it ‘sachcha booti.’
“Preparation of the medicine: For effective medicine, the best harvest time is from March to April; at that time the bush blossoms. The plant is dried and ground to powder.
“Method of usage: The dose is two grams per kilogram of the patient’s body weight. The dose is divided into two portions, one to be taken in the morning and one in the evening. Above the body weight of 30kg, the quantity of the medicine is not increased and will be about 57 grams in the morning and 57 grams in the evening. The powder is to be soaked in a glass of water and left to stand for about 12 hours, after which it is thoroughly mixed by stirring, pressing and rubbing. Some sugar or honey may be added to it.
“Important note: Homoeoglobin levels must be maintained at at least at 10 mg, otherwise the medicine will not be absorbed by the intestines and can cause stomach cramps. In the beginning patients may need frequent blood transfusions to maintain a homoeoglobin level of 10mg. If that level is maintained, remarkable effects can be seen within a few weeks. The patient will feel much better and the frequency of blood transfusions will decrease. This medicine also helps maintain iron levels (Ferritin) in the blood, thus making it unnecessary to take other medication.
“Many cancer patients may be apprehensive that this medicine will not only reduce the dangerous effects of cancer-controlling medication but may also neutralise the good effects. This is not so. On the contrary, it enhances the effects in Adeno Carcinoma, especially in Hodgekins Disease and Non-Hodgekin Lymphomas. Moreover, patients with connective tissue disorders very often have rheumatoid arthritis and require Methotrexate. This herbal medicine, when used once a week together with Methotrexate, shows remarkable results. I have tried my best to thoroughly investigate this herbal plant and extract its active alkaloid, but have so far not succeeded due to the non-availability of sufficient funds.”
Dr Amer Maqbool Ahmed from Oslo, Norway, writes: “I have a two-year-old son, Wali Ahmad, who was diagnosed with thalassemia last year. I tried to contact Dr Seyal a couple of times regarding fogenia critica. Will you kindly share some more information later?”
I have received a large number of similar letters and messages and they are still coming in. Since it is impossible for me to answer all these messages individually, I am using this opportunity to convey my thanks for your positive responses.
My other column dealing with heart attacks also received many responses. I am thankful for all of them and am reproducing one of the most important ones here. It gives me great satisfaction to learn that my efforts have been helpful to many.
Dr Rushd Jibran from Hull, England, writes: “I am one of the cardiologists working in the UK. I read your article regarding heart diseases in The News dated June 11, 2012. I must admit that the details you provided are very informative to the layman. Most important in preventing heart disease is lifestyle modification. Once a person has had a heart attack, it is the control of risk factors which is important, namely smoking, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol. The newer modalities include angiography and angioplasty. In the UK, after a heart attack, we take the patient straight to the cath lab without giving any clot busting drugs (e.g. streptokinase). I thought I should share some information with you and would be happy to provide more if anyone so desires.
“Besides today’s article, I regularly read your articles, which provide quite an in-depth analysis of the subjects discussed. Moreover, my admiration of you as a national hero is always there.”
With Dr Jibran’s permission, I am adding some further information on the topic of cath lab (from Wikipedia) Catherisation Laboratory, or cath lab, for short, is an examination room in a hospital or clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to support the catheterisation procedure. A catheter is inserted into a large artery and various wires and devices can be inserted through the body via the catheter which is inside the artery. The artery most used is the femoral (groin) artery. However, the femoral artery is associated with local complication in up to 3 percent of patients and hence, more interventional physicians are moving towards the radial (wrist) artery as an alternative site. Disadvantages of the radial artery include small vessel calibre and a different “learning curve” for physicians used to the femoral access.
Most catheterisation laboratories are “single plane” facilities, i.e. those having a single X-ray generator source and an image intensifier. Older cath labs used cine film to record the information obtained, but since the year 2000, most new facilities are digital. The latest digital cath labs are biplane (i.e., have two X-ray sources) and digital, flat-panel labs.
Biplane laboratories achieve two separate planes of view with the same injection and thus save time and limit contrast dye, limiting kidney damage in susceptible patients.
Catheterisation laboratories in the UK are staffed by a multidisciplinary team, which include a physician (normally either a cardiologist or a radiologist), an anaesthetist, a cardiac physiologist, a nurse and a radiographer.
Due to the importance of the work they are doing, I am once again earnestly requesting all well-to-do readers and philanthropists, both in Pakistan and abroad, to send generous donations to: 1) The Pakistan Thalassemia Welfare Society, Tippu Road, Opposite Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi. Tel: 00-92-51-5780749. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org; 2) Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) P O Box 888, AFIC/NIHD, Rawalpindi Cantt. Tel: 00-92-51-9270642, Account No: 027395-5, National Bank of Pakistan, Cantt Board Building, Rawalpindi. Email: email@example.com, Web: www.panah.info.
May Allah Almighty shower His blessings on all of you for this noble act – Ameen.